Sunrise Sunset

Among the favorite subjects for landscape photographers are the sunrise or sunset. The light is marvelous, the sky is often a riot of pinks and golds, oranges and reds. A sunset or sunrise shot can seem easy to compose: just put the sun smack dab in the middle of the frame and snap away.

But sunsets (and ‘rises) are a bit like flowers – its very easy to snap a pretty picture of one but considerably more difficult to take a memorable photograph of the same subject. Sunrises (or ‘sets) by themselves in the frame lack interest unless you have one hell of an interesting sky.  A composition with a centered sun and nothing else of interest but pretty clouds won’t hold a viewer’s interest for very long.

We all know the rule of thirds (if not, click here). There is a similar rule for landscape photography: a rule of thirds of depth. The idea is to fill the frame with foreground, middle ground and background elements. These elements, of course, must compliment one another. They act together to give the image a pleasing sense of depth and lead the eye to the point of focus. The hard part is finding the right scene, at the right time, from the right place.

Like flowers, sunsets are often overpowering. Its hard to find anything as bright and more demanding of attention than the sun. Some of the best sunset photos dispense with the sun altogether, using its light to suggest its presence. Other shots capture the gorgeous sunrise light on foreground or middle ground elements.

I have put together a Flickr gallery with eighteen photos which are more than just a pretty picture of the setting (or rising) sun:

Sunrise Sunset

And here, from me, are a sunrise and a sunset photo:

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